Chapter 2. Using KDE su

Usage of KDE su is easy. The syntax is like this:

kdesu [-c command] [-d] [-f file] [-i icon name] [-n] [-p priority] [-r] [-s] [-t] [-u user] [--noignorebutton] [--attach winid]

kdesu [KDE Generic Options] [Qt™ Generic Options]

The command line options are explained below.

-c command

This specifies the command to run as root. It has to be passed in one argument. So if, for example, you want to start a new file manager, you would enter at the prompt: $(kde4-config --path libexec)kdesu -c Dolphin


Show debug information.

-f file

This option allow efficient use of KDE su in .desktop files. It tells KDE su to examine the file specified by file. If this file is writable by the current user, KDE su will execute the command as the current user. If it is not writable, the command is executed as user user (defaults to root).

file is evaluated like this: if file starts with a /, it is taken as an absolute filename. Otherwise, it is taken as the name of a global KDE configuration file.

-i icon name

Specify icon to use in the password dialog. You may specify just the name, without any extension.

For instance to run Konqueror in filemanager mode and show the Konqueror icon in the password dialog:

$(kde4-config --path libexec)kdesu  -i konqueror 
-c "konqueror --profile filemanagement"

Do not keep the password. This disables the keep password checkbox in the password dialog.

-p priority

Set priority value. The priority is an arbitrary number between 0 and 100, where 100 means highest priority, and 0 means lowest. The default is 50.


Use realtime scheduling.


Stop the kdesu daemon. See the section called “Password Keeping”.


Enable terminal output. This disables password keeping. This is largely for debugging purposes; if you want to run a console mode app, use the standard su instead.

-u user

While the most common use for KDE su is to run a command as the superuser, you can supply any user name and the appropriate password.